Q: I will be visiting Barcelona for the first time in May with my wife and son. I have heard that there are long queues to get in to see the Gaudí Cathedral. We have this attraction at the top of our list to visit. Do you have any advice on how to jump the queue, so we don't waste our holiday time in a queue? My son is 8 years, and I don't think to stand in line for much time is going to go down too well with him.
|The historic façade of Gaudí's giant basilica.|
A: It is true that there are long queues to get in the Sagrada Família. Take a look at this small video to see what the problem is. This video was taken in April, just before the main tourist season had started.
Video showing the long entrance queues
You can see what the problem is. Some of the best ways to beat the queue are as follows:
1. The only sure way that I am aware of to be sure to avoid queuing is to buy your tickets online in advance before your visit.
Book your Sagrada Família tickets online to avoid the queues
You would need to print out your booking voucher and bring it to the meeting point at the appointed hour given the voucher. You will need a photo ID, for example, a driving license or passport.
If you do not want to book your entrance tickets in advance of your visit then you could try these following ideas to reduce queuing time:
|Queues at the entrance of Sagrada Familia|
2. Aim to arrive as early as possible in the morning, when the attraction first opens the queues are likely to be shorter. This attraction is popular throughout the day however bearing in mind that the majority of tourists don't start sightseeing until after they have had breakfast you would expect to experience a shorter queue if you arrived first thing in the morning when the attraction opens at 09:00 in the morning. However even at this time you are likely to experience queuing if you are arriving during peak season but the queue will be shorter. There is a metro stop called Sagrada Família, right outside the Basilica making access to this attraction quick and easy for anyone in the city centre.
The Sagrada Familia express entry tickets are included FREE with the Barcelona City Pass. Click here to learn more.
Map showing the nearest metro
Carrer de Mallorca, 401
3. If you have any flexibility in your travel and choosing dates is an option you could plan to visit outside of the main tourist season. That is November to March and combine this with an early arrival to the attraction you are likely to shorter wait time.
I would just like to correct out one point you raised in your question. The Sagrada Família is often referred to as the "Gaudí Cathedral". I have even seen this mentioned in main stream media so you are not alone there. However it is in fact officially known as a Basilica. There is only one Cathedral in Barcelona and that is in the Gothic Quarter (historic old town).
The Sagrada Família is the no.1 most visited attraction in Barcelona the only way to skip the queue is to reserve your tickets in advance of your trip.